In the Netherlands, the electric car (EV) and a ‘green gas’ biomethane-powered car are equally valued by government agencies, above the car with regular combustion engine. Moreover, these agencies are willing to pay extra for a car on alternative fuel. These are the findings of research carried out by a Research Master at Utrecht University on behalf of NL Agency, part of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation. The study looked at the preferences of Dutch municipalities, provinces and water boards in the purchase of durable (service) vehicles. The results serve as an aid in the formulation of sustainable procurement.
The study consisted of a choice experiment based on characteristics of cars on green gas, electricity and hydrogen compared to a car with regular combustion engine. Choice experiments are described as a reliable way to measure preferences. It is the first time that local governments in this way were asked about their preferences.
The results show that local issues are an important criterion for the choice, especially for municipalities and provinces, and that local and regional authorities are prepared to pay between 25 and 50% extra for a car on alternative fuel. Green gas cars and EVs are equally valued, above the regular combustion engine.
Electric car choices are conditional upon desired recharging time (about 30 minutes). Furthermore, the limited range of the electric car less attractive to provinces and water boards.
The choice of a biomethane-powered car seems a compromise: less local environmental impacts, but a positive score on most other characteristics. Better availability of biomethane to further reduce local emissions would make it an even more attractive alternative.
The hydrogen car is not currently of interest to the authorities.
The study was conducted by graduate student Science & Innovation Management Paul Hagen and Innovation Scientist Dr. Frank Rijnsoever. The researchers presented their results in a scientific journal.
(This article compiled using information from a University of Utrecht press release)